There is an old adage that claims “A change is a good as a rest” but I believe that both change and rest are very important.
We live in a busy world where it is easy to keep pushing and pushing to become more productive. Extended shopping hours has made the workday longer than in the past and even eliminated the idea of having at least one day a week when everything is closed so families can spend time together and relax.
The availability of entertainment through technology tempts us to spend hours past a reasonable bedtime just staring at screens without noticing that time is passing.
According to the website for the Sleep Foundation organization adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. This makes good sense as I know from a personal perspective that when I am rested, I am more motivated and able to think and do better
But it isn’t just time spent in bed that counts. It is good, solid rem sleep that is uninterrupted and nightmare-free. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and free of distractions that will interfere with your sleep. Practice sleep hygiene so your body and mind can develop good habits.
I remember when my dad used to walk home at noon for his one-hour break. After eating his lunch, he would say “Give me ten minutes, Jean”. Then he would lie down on the couch in the dining room to rest. Mom would wake him in ten minutes, and he would always state that he felt so refreshed. Just ten minutes!
Schools have implemented the idea of recess with the same idea in mind. Just changing activities and locations, provide students with both a change and a rest from academic tasks.
Change is important for all of us. When we are bored, I believe that there is a greater possibility of mistakes occurring and health deteriorating. We need variety and challenges to stimulate our senses and keep our minds active.
Dr. Suess is one of my favourite authors. In “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” he states, “Life is one great balancing act”. That book is a wonderful reminder of what all of us go through over the years.
In the past, I have written about the importance of routine, and I stand by that but, besides rest, it is also easy and important to experience small but positive changes. Try adding a food to your diet that is new to you. Perhaps going for a walk rather than repeatedly going to a gym would stimulate your senses and still provide you with exercise. Is there a skill that you would like to learn? Would you like to cultivate a hobby? Perhaps choosing to use those fancy dishes that are stored in a cupboard would add special glow to everyday mealtimes.
Yes, we need to have routine, change and rest.
Summer is often a time when families add change to their routines. Many travel, visit friends and family, go to the beach, barbecue outside, dress differently and they may even enjoy a nap in the hammock on the patio.
What are you going to do over the upcoming weeks to ensure that you have both change and rest in your routine?